Sunday, 13 December 2015

Con Artistes - Not Figures of Fun

Time for a switch on criminal targets, away from the bodies and killers, and have a look at the world of the conman, flim-flam man, grifter and whatever else term is used to describe them.  The common image in a 50`s/60`s British crime comedy is that of a smooth talking, well dressed man who could sell you the Eiffel Tower, and is looked upon as a kind of comedy act.  The reality is very much different.  These are very nasty people who will use every conceivable type of manipulation and lies to achieve the end result; money.  Carl Hildebrandt was such a person.  He pulled con after con over here in the UK, resulting in him shaving off all his hair and passing himself off as a cancer sufferer and fooling everybody he came across into believing him and parting with money for "treatment."  What was much more sinister, was that Hildebrandt visited graveyards and stole the identities of deceased children.  He would find a suitable headstone with enough details for him to apply for a "new" birth certificate.  Hildebrandt then headed for the USA and carried on his activities, obtaining new"identities."  But his reign came to an end when a diligent Florida patrol officer did substantial research into the background of a suspect, and discovered he was wanted in the UK.  Quite a feather in his cap!  An example of good police work ending the run of a nasty character.

    Then there was a case of a woman in the States who ended up virtually losing everything, and almost her children, all for the sake of a promise of a "dream home."  She fell under the spell of a man who run a company making kit cars/accessories.  He claimed that the Mafia were after him and had shown him photos allegedly of his girlfriends` daughters and that she had to keep a low profile. He later claimed to have cancer but she was not to visit him, as he wanted to get through this ordeal by himself.  Yet, through all the claims, now matter how outrageous or strange, she kept thinking about the "dream house" that would be waiting at the end.  When the truth emerged, he was in debt and the stories about cancer, the mob, etc, was complete garbage.  She took in all his crap, solely for the sake of a house, and almost lost everything.  Do I feel sympathy?  No.  The old adage there is "if it`s too good to be true, then it isn`t."  Money and materialism takes over people.